(Surgical Wound Dehiscence; Operative Wound Dehiscence)
by Catherine Duffek, MLS, MS
Wound dehiscence is the separation of the edges of a surgical wound. It may be just the surface layer or the whole wound. It may become a serious problem. See your doctor if a wound has split open.
The cause may vary depending on the type of surgery. Some general causes include:
Factors that may increase your chance of wound dehiscence include:
Wound dehiscence may cause:
The surgeon will examine the wound. If there are signs of an infection the following may be done:
Further test may only be needed if the wound is deep or not healing well. The surgeon may want to see how much tissue is affected. This can be done with:
Treatment may include:
To help reduce your chance of wound dehiscence:
American College of Surgeons
Centers for Disease Control
Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
Sandy-Hodgetts K, Carville K, Leslie GD. Determining risk factors for surgical wound dehiscence: a literature review. Int Wound J. 2015 Jun;12(3):265-75.
Surgical site infection—prevention. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname.... Accessed December 19, 2019.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Donald W. Buck II, MD
Last Updated: 7/29/2020